1st Row, L to R - Stuart Rose, Tommy Malden, Dale Bedoud, Billy Reid,
2nd Row, ?, ?, Judy Lunsky, Gloria Orloff, Pat Martin, Wanda?, Candy Davidson, Buchanan?, Janice Lunsky, Paul Snow.
3rd Row, Mr. Lamb, Bob Straith, Judy Jewitt, Anita Horvath maybe?, Pat Simpson, ?, Nancy Goodall, Mickey Handren, John Kennedy,
I spent a great deal of my time haunting various places on Washington Avenue and Main Street, and some others close by. These are the ones that I remember best. It was like a paradise to a little kid exploring his own little world.
Tresize’s was originally in a group of stores that were right next to my house. It was a combination candy and comic book store, plus they had some soda fountain style booths where you could sit and have a beverage. Mr. And Mrs. Tresize took a liking to me and treated me like their own. I spent a lot of my money in there, and when I didn’t have any money they would let me read the comics for free. I would sit on the floor and read them for hours. They were from England and from time to time would try to get me to drink some tea with milk in it. I thought it
was crazy when you had orange and grape soda on hand. But, since they were otherwise so nice to me, I pretended to like it. They eventually moved across the street to a small free standing building on the NE corner of Washington and Lincoln and just sold comic books. Along with Chuckie Button, I missed them the most when we moved to Birmingham.
When the Trecize’s moved, the old store was taken over by a couple named Martha and Ben. I don’t know their last names, but we always referred to the store as Martha and Ben’s. They sold pop, candy, bubblegum with trading cards and all that weird stuff that kids liked back then, like little wax bottles of colored sugared water, button candy on a roll, little metal pie plates filled with caramel-like substance that you ate with a little spoon, wax lips, and so forth. I remember buying those bubblegum packs that included a baseball card and desperately wanting an Al Kaline and never finding one. I did have about a dozen Marion Franconas that I was unable to trade for anything. Martha and Ben were also very nice people and used to take care of our house when we were on vacation. Our dog, Pinky liked them a lot since they would feed him when we were away. Their reward for doing this was to be able to watch our twelve-inch Motorola television which was one of the few TVs on the block at that time.
Dunn’s hobby shop was just a block away. It was owned by “Dusty” Dunn and was jam packed with stuff that I lusted after, such as cap guns, cap gun ammunition, model plane kits, and of lesser importance, camera equipment. It later became a chain of stores, but this was the first and only one at the time. Whenever I had any spare money from birthday or Christmas gifts, I would be down at Dunn’s picking out a cap gun.
Walker-Crawford Paint store was just down the block from us. It of course sold house paint, wallpaper and things to do with that, but more important to me, they also sold artists supplies. Since both my mom and myself were interested in drawing and painting we spent a lot of time in there. They always had just what you needed. Years later, around 1983 or so, I went in there with a friend who needed some paint. All of the employees looked a little on in years and after talking to them I discovered that they were the same ones that had been there when I was little. When I told them I was the little guy that used to ride by their door on my tricycle they knew right away who I was. Little Robbie Scott! When I confessed that I was the one that had shot out their neon sign with my slingshot thirty-some years before, they were truly aggravated and I thought they were going to call the police!
McKinley Moving and Storage was right next to Walker-Crawford. Howard and Bud McKinley were good friends of my parents and they lived right next door to Chuckie Button on Lincoln. The McKinleys had a cabin on Big Blue Lake near Grayling, Michigan. They let my parents use it on occasion. It was a really nice place, but had no utilities, so there were kerosene lanterns, a pump in the sink, and an outhouse. My brother and I got to sleep up in a loft that was accessible only by a ladder. I thought it was the coolest place in the universe, except for the outhouse which got pretty cold in the morning.
There was one incident involving the outhouse that still makes me laugh. This happened when I was about four years old. My dad loved to fish and the trips to the McKinley’s cabin gave him an opportunity to do just that. One morning he went out before sunrise and caught a nice large-mouth bass. He wanted to release it, but also wanted us kids to have a chance to admire it first, so he put it in a bucket of water and left it out on the porch. When I got up the first thing I would do was head for the outhouse, which I didn’t like as it was quite a ways away from the cabin and it was cold in the morning. On my way out my mother said “While you’re out there, take a peek in the bucket.” I was half asleep and of course misunderstood what she said and therefore relieved myself in the bucket without ever noticing that there was this poor fish in there. When I got back , my mother asked me what I thought. I responded “It’s a lot better than going all the way out to the outhouse!” My dad jumped out of his chair, got the fish into the sink and started pumping water through it’s mouth and gills in a form of fish CPR. I don’t recall if it survived the incident or not. I was just unhappy that I would no longer be allowed to use the bucket.
The McKinley’s had a storage room in their building that contained unclaimed objects that had been left there. I don’t know what the legal status of it was, but they apparently felt obligated to hold on to all of it for some length of time. It was a very large room and the stuff was piled up haphazardly around. It was boxes, furniture and the like. For some reason they thought it was okay for me to climb around in there like a mountaineer. It was an adventure to me and every now and then I would run into something interesting, like the German Luger and Army .45 that I found in a desk drawer. I went out and asked them if they knew what was in that desk. They said they knew that they were there but also knew that they were not loaded. I don’t think that would happen today.
Hullinger’s Real Estate was next to our house. It was owned by Marge and Dutch Hullinger who lived there with their family and ran the agency out of their home. They had four daughters, Gale, Inez, and the twins Judy and Jill. Gale was my brother’s age and I think might have been in the same class at Royal Oak High School as George. Inez was the next oldest and was a multi-talented girl. She was on the Auntie Dee Show on TV twice. Auntie Dee had a talent contest for kids every week on her show. Sort of a pre-cursor of American Idol, I guess. I don’t remember what you got if you won, but it was a big deal for a kid just to be on there. Inez appeared on the show as a baton twirler and also as a violin player. I remember she became very adept with the violin and I believe made it to the second chair of the Detroit Symphony. Pretty darn good. And she was very attractive if my memory is right. Judy and Jill were about my sister’s age. They were a couple of hellions and always up to something. I ran into Judy at a wake recently. She did not look a lot different than she did as a child. I think I would have recognized her if I hadn’t been told she was at the event. She didn’t remember a lot about me, but did have recollections of my sister who used to play with her and Jill.
Hagelstein’s Bakery was on the SW corner of Lincoln and Washington, right across the alley from my Grandpa Scott’s house. It is still there, but is not the same type of place as it was during my youth. I remember several things about it. First of all, they had the best chocolate éclairs in existence. I have never had any as good as those since. Maybe my taste buds have been jaded with age, but they were absolutely wonderful. Sometimes I just went in there to stare at the éclairs since I had usually already spent my money on comic books or cap guns. Secondly, once a week they baked salt rising bread. My Grandfather Scott loved it. The only trouble was it gave off a hideous odor while being baked which caused me to flee the area. Thirdly, like everyone else on Washington, they knew me very well and treated me kindly at all times.
Brown’s Creamery was south on Washington, across the street from Button’s. In addition to selling dairy products, they had a serpentine soda fountain counter which occupied most of the interior. It was a real treat to get my mother to take me in there. One of my most difficult decisions was deciding whether to have a chocolate malt, a chocolate soda, or a banana split. I usually went for the soda. Another wonderful place.
Dickson’s novelty store was on Eleven Mile Road just west of Washington. It seemed like a long way away, but it was a favorite place for Chuckie and me. They sold all sorts of magic tricks, gags, and best of all, great peashooters and dried peas for ammo. We both purchased these items and proceeded to have the mother of all peashooter battles in my yard. A few weeks later there were pea plants growing everywhere. A lot of the stuff that we bought there never seemed to work quite as well as we imagined, like sneezing powder, itching powder, etc. There was no end to it. Some of it would be banned today. I remember a little box with what looked like a speaker and a push button under the speaker. You were supposed to talk into the speaker and push the button rapidly with your thumb and hear your voice. In reality, the button had a needle in it that would puncture your thumb. Pretty funny joke. I also remember those "Chinese Finger Traps.” They were a tube woven out of reeds that you stuck your forefingers into. When you tried to pull your fingers out you were trapped. The harder you pulled the tighter it became. Of course, the solution was to relax and push your fingers together, but what little kid would figure that out right away?